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The Abundant Life: Meaning, Reaping, and KEEPING-Part 3

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Can we lose the abundant life?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Last time we saw that having the abundant life was a byproduct of being and remaining in a right relationship with God. Therefore, anything that hinders that relationship will affect our reaping and enjoyment of it. And the biggest thing that does that—is unconfessed sin and lack of repentance.

Notice—I DID NOT say if you sin. We still sin after we are saved because our sinful nature is still present. Just read about the internal warfare that was going on inside the Apostle Paul in Romans 7.  God knows you cannot live perfectly. What He wants is for you to confess and turn away from sin when He points it out to you.

Those guilty feelings, when the Holy Spirit convicts you, are His way of showing you there’s been a breech in the relationship. God wants you to agree with Him by confessing, then repenting, and  thereby restoring that broken fellowship with Him. 

Nonetheless, you can never lose your eternal life! Once a child of God, always a child of His (Jn 10:28-29, Eph 4:30). But you can lose that relational intimacy with the One who is the source of all good things.

I have discovered that if I do the 9 things below I am able to continually experience the abundant life.

1. Confess immediately when the Holy Spirit makes you aware of your sin.

2. Repent—which is way more than just saying you’re sorry. It’s a godly sorrow and a determination to change. This typically (if not always) involves changing your thinking (Rom 12:2). And you need the Lord’s help for that! 

3. Stay dependent upon God by recognizing your continual need of Him.

4. Stay humble before your Sovereign King by continually yielding to His way. I have found that submission is a beautiful word.

5. Understand that you do not have the right to be happy. Life is not about you, but about bringing glory to our rightful King. That’s pride and self-centeredness which most definitely will keep you from experiencing the abundant life—God resists the proud (Jas 4:6). Instead, consider it an absolute privilege to be able to even come into His presence. Because it is!

6. Keep an eternal perspective during trials. Focus on the fact that the Lord is working out all things for good to those who love Him (Rom 8:28). Otherwise, you will become discouraged, disillusioned, and despairing—not the way any of us want to live (including the Lord)! You will be rewarded for your faithfulness.

7. Become a giver. Did you know that a plant’s fruit is not for solely for itself? Just as a tree bears fruit for others to eat and enjoy as well as to reproduce, we also do not bear fruit only for ourselves. I had that backwards for many years. Gratefully, the Lord showed me the error of my thinking. The principle of sowing and reaping applies big time with living a full—and fruitful life.

8. Arm yourself against Satan. Read God’s Word so you can know how to combat His lies with God’s powerful truths.

Satan cannot destroy us, but he can certainly rob us of our joy, peace and the rest of living life to its fullest.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (Jn 10:10)*

9. Remember that relationships are two-sided and good ones are those in which both parties mutually enjoy one another. So why not consider bringing joy to God’s heart? You might be pleasantly surprised how God will bless your socks off then!

And find out what pleases the Lord. (Eph 5:10)

So until next time my friends, ask God to help you apply these 9 principles and I promise you abundant living!

The verses on these pages will get you started in #8:

Scriptures on Managing Emotions

The Abundant Life: Scriptures to Help You Live It!

 

*English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

I DARE You… to Pray THIS Prayer!

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It was many years ago. I was just doing some chores around the house, thinking about God, enjoying the sense of His presence. I had had a good quiet time with my Savior that morning, though nothing extraordinary. I hadn’t just come out of any recent rebellion, where I felt the weight and guilt of an unconfessed sin lifted from my shoulders. No. I was simply at rest in my heart, knowing I was right with the Creator of my soul. That’s when the Holy Spirit led me to pray this prayer:

Lord, if You make me aware of me of any sin and I don’t repent immediately, please make me so miserable that I can’t stand it!

I’m sure to some of you, that seems like the craziest thing to pray.

Things we want, life to go smoothly, the removal of a trial, comfort, wisdom, etc.—those are the type of requests we make to our Maker. But asking for misery? That’s preposterous!

May I suggest that it’s a prayer that honors and pleases God.

It shows that you:

  • Have a healthy reverent fear of God.
  • Are humble and submissive.
  • Realize the seriousness of your sin and how it displeases Him; that you want to stop sinning against Him.
  • Have tasted and seen that He is good.
  • Nothing else compares to being right with the Savior of your soul
  • Consider your relationship with Him of utmost importance.

My Lord has never not answered that prayer and I am glad!

Do I like the heaviness of conviction on my soul at the time? Do I enjoy seeing the ugliness of my sin? Silly questions.

However, I have finally come to the place where

I no longer dread the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

In His kindness, He is simply making me aware that I am, or about to go, off course—much like an air traffic controller tells a pilot he’s off course. If he’s off track by just 1 degree, he will not wind up where he wants to land, and possibly end up in disaster. I don’t want that in my Christian walk—and neither do you.

God desires that you and I remain in right fellowship with Him.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Lk 13:34; see also Deut 10:12-16, Deut 30:9-10, Jn 15:9-11, Rev 21:3).

But since our hearts (due to our sinful nature) often deceive us (Jer 17:9), we need Him to point out when we’re not right with Him. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult for me to admit my guilt. How about you? That’s when I need Him to help me repent—hence my prayer: “Lord, make me miserable if I don’t repent.”

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. (2 Cor 7:10)

So I dare you to pray this prayer. And I also promise that you won’t be sorry if you do! 

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Ps 16:11)*

Search me, O God, and know my heart…. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life [i.e. His right path]. (Ps 139:23-24)

 

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

All other Scripture taken from New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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